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Take Action on Conscience Rights

Call to action

  • Hear from doctors explaining why this issue is so critical (3 min video on YouTube, Feb. 2021).
  • Find your province and a sample letter you can use to quickly and easily write to your provincial health minister at CanadiansForConscience.ca.
  • Three doctors discussed the need for increased legal conscience protections in a March 10, 2021 EFC webinar. You can watch the half-hour webinar recording on our website.
  • We held a longer webinar on conscience protection March 17, 2021. You can also watch that recording.

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Latest updates

  • Visit TheEFC.ca/Euthanasia and click "What's Happening" to get the latest news on related court cases, letters to government and more.

Quick summary

  • Most jurisdictions are finding ways to protect the conscience of healthcare workers when there are requests for assisted death. Manitoba for example has such legislation.
  • But Ontario has adopted a policy that doctors must provide effective referrals even for procedures that violate their deeply held beliefs. This means they must refer a patient seeking Medical Assistance in Dying (or any other procedure such as surgical abortion) to a physician or nurse practitioner who is willing to offer the procedure. The province's College of Physicians and Surgeons reviewed its MAID policies in May 2021 and the EFC submitted a brief to that consultation.
  • Residents of each province can urge their MPP and provincial Minister of Health to protect conscience rights. The EFC encourages Canadians to call or write your MPP or MLA using the quick and easy online form at www.CanadiansForConscience.ca. You can also help raise awareness in your church or plan a meeting with your provincial government representative using materials from that website.
  • Canadians can also contact their federal MP regarding proposed legislation which would make it a criminal offence to compel a health care professional to participate in medical assistance in dying. The most recent version of this private member's bill is C-230. It would also make it an offence to fire or refuse to hire a health care worker because of their conscientious objection. See our sample letter at our Bill C-230 page.

Recent history


Alberta
The EFC wrote to the Alberta minister of health in January 2019 asking her government to continue to protect faith-based medical institutions from pressure to start requiring them to allow euthanasia or assisted suicide on their premises.

Ontario
Ontario has adopted a policy that doctors must provide effective referrals even for procedures that violate their deeply held beliefs. This means they must refer a patient seeking euthanasia or assisted suicide to a physician or nurse practitioner who is willing to help end the patient’s life. The EFC participated in a court challenge to the Ontario policy in the lower court and the Court of Appeal. A disappointing decision by the Ontario Court of Appeal was announced May 15, 2019. EFC response. The groups who challenged Ontario's policy decided not to appeal to the Supreme Court. Ontario may require some long term care facilities to allow assisted death on their premises.
Highlights